They add up, one on top of another. Dirty house, little free time. Debts that you can never seem to get started on. Between two jobs, make too little. Things breaking down. Costly repairs. Faraway dreams that never gain traction. Faraway friends. Lover growing distant. Nagging mother. Fear of loneliness. Fear of other people. An inability to face the past or the future; maladjusted in the present. Knots everywhere – in my mind, my relationships, my soul. Can’t cleanse it. Feel like roadkill.
that someone would talk to me who isn’t paid to care.
I don’t want meds. They don’t do shit but dim the feelings. Everything still lurks underneath. Everyone still avoids me. I am still a cancerous disease, unfit for this world. Too awkward, too sensitive, too dark, too talkative, too reactive. Meds don’t change shut and they always eventually stop working. It’s such a stupid fucking dance.
I want a real friend who isn’t afraid of me.
I have none.
Every cell in my body is wired to malfunction.
Vodka and sleeping pills when I get paid this Friday. Till then I’m just entertaining the motions.
I don’t know how I can stay afloat in a world that is so harsh and cruel. I can’t seem to pretend, like everyone else, that it’s okay, that I’m okay. I can’t “suck it up.” If I try that, I eventually explode, which is basically what happened last night at work. I’m too weak, too sensitive. No place in the world for someone like that. Even in nursing there is so much bullshit to go around. I just don’t belong anywhere. My efforts are for nothing.
She had come home from Chicago the night before. She, our roommate and I were drinking and watching Archer. I passed out. I came to with a raw cough in my throat like nothing I’d ever experienced. Turns out I threw up in my sleep and Roommate had to roll me over. He pointed to the soiled pillowcase in the laundry basket.
I heard my girlfriend whimpering low. I was the one in her life who knew her for the shortest amount of time, and yet I was the only one who could discern the barely-perceptible difference between her regular whimpers and the ones that indicated she was having a nightmare. These were nightmare whimpers. I went to wake her.
Immediately knew something was wrong. Her arm was ice cold. It was December, but she should definitely not have been that cold. I mentioned this to my roommate and he blew me off.
I noticed then that her fingers were blue. Something was definitely fucking wrong. I went to check her breathing and it stopped right in front of me. My throat still raw from my own close encounter and I stood like a statue. Yelled at Roommate. He was CPR certified, so we moved her to the floor where he got to work and I phoned 911.
While he was pumping her chest, a thick vomit came from her mouth, like charcoal in color and texture. I looked it up later and apparently this is what it looks like when blood comes up from the intestines.
Firefighters arrived to take over CPR while paramedics readied a stretcher. Roommate and I sat together, held hands, and prayed. His phone rang; it was a paramedic – she’d passed on the way to the hospital.
The autopsy showed there were large amounts of pills in her digestive tract. It’s likely that she committed suicide. Everyone else justified how it can’t be, it can’t be, she was so smiley and happy and so on. Never smiled like she did when she came from Chicago. Never in her life. Clearly, she wanted to live.
I played along a bit. Sometimes even fooled myself. It’s a pretty, half-comforting lie.
The truth is never really that pretty, though, is it? When did this poor girl ever seriously want to live? She was roasting in pain. I guess that no one will ever officially ‘know’ but I feel like I already do, and I don’t want to play denial.
I still remember just lying in bed the following morning coughing like I’ve never coughed in my life and just, couldn’t even cry like I wanted to because of it. Hurt from the inside out back on in. Writing futile letters to her and wondering what would happen next.
She dragged me by the tail end out of my comfort zone, (both of us) kicking and screaming. She shattered my world. She wasn’t my first love, but she was definitely the least diluted. Sometimes that was frightening. We fought constantly. Sometimes cops were called. One time she limped to the hospital while I sobbed on the phone to my landlord, him barely containing his rage to show me some of the greatest grace I’ve seen to this day as he worked to deescalate me and told me what to tell the cops to have no one wind up arrested. Even if he only did this to prevent himself any trouble, which I doubt given the man’s character, I was so thankful.
I’m where I am, off of meds, out of therapy, working a job while looking for another, and pursuing my dreams, galvanized the whole way by her. My boyfriend’s role is so important in this stage of my life, and what I am trying to say is absolutely not meant to devalue him by suggestion that his contributions are somehow lesser than hers. If anything, I would say his are infinitely more important, given that he has provided the patience, space, devotion, stability, and support that I desperately needed in order to heal and grow, and he is the one with whom I will stay committed. However, the truth that he might find hard to hear is that for all of her destructive tendencies, for how bad we could be for each other, and for how both of us knew that it couldn’t possibly last, there has never been a force in my life more energetic nor intimidatingly large as hers. It was what I needed to even get to him in the first place. No one else can match it. Sometimes I find myself crying alone in grief just for that alone. Sometimes I wouldn’t even care how bad it hurt just to have it back for a little while.
She taught me not to be afraid. She taught me that even though she died at the hands of her demons, demons are still nothing to stand in one’s way. She believed in me unconditionally. Our last heart-to-heart was over the phone while she was in Chicago. She told me that I was the most intelligent person that she has ever dated and that I have the ability to become anything I want. I just have to stop being afraid.
I liked to dream that I would wake inside my self ten years younger
with eyes that would blink hope towards the morning sun
without cinder blocks of fatigue or the fine lines of age
I wished against rationality that my decade of torrent and
grievous joyous decadent nothing and destruction and debt and
discovery and growth
could be whisked away for a swift return
to be hugged again by a shell of ignorance
I don’t even remember shedding.
The slam poetry scene in my state has been a veritable haven when I can actually get myself to attend an open mic/slam feature night. I hope this poem can help at least one person like it did for me.
Kait Rokowski – “A Good Day”
http://youtu.be/TjjaIwVxfTw (to see her recite it)
Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”
and it’s so painful to see you in such despair.
That this must be our cross to bear, what brings us together as perfect strangers. The black dog on our shoulder. Wish it could be anything else for all of us.
I spent all night last night reading through posts and comments. When I came in I was crying for myself, hoping not to feel the end of my rope once more. I went to bed crying for others, hoping they can somehow find their way back up their rope, and if not, that they can find in death the peace they so crave and deserve. I am so touched and inspired by the sensitivity and compassion on this board. That in and of itself really helps me face today.
Must get ready for work now. I hope that I am not condescending here; I realize there are many views on suicide and not all of them are negative, which I try to respect. My view on it is personally negative and I try to defeat it, but I understand that that is just my perspective.
I just hope we can all find our way somehow. As sugary as that might be to say. I mean it.
I’m here because I don’t want to die. I want to believe that I have something to offer this world, and that my current suffering will lead to a day where I can turn it around and use it to help others. Thing is, I’ve been depressed my whole life. I feel like from the moment I was born, I was given a cluster of psychiatric diagnoses instead of a personality. I was a problem to be solved, not a person to be loved. I was not human; I was merely human labels. Autism at first, because I’d rock endlessly in place. Then bipolar, because I’d self-harm as early as two if I didn’t get my way, then two minutes later be sunshine and smiles. Then I was ADHD because I was restless and energetic as I grew a bit older. Then Autistic turned to Asperger’s when it showed that I had poor social skills, low emotional intelligence, yet an apparently advanced intellect.
Now I’m just simply here. I just turned 30 back in May and I still don’t really know who I am. I’ve rejected almost all of these labels to try and find myself without them, but now I’m not sure what for. Two years ago, I quit therapy, weaned myself off of my meds, and I grew substantially. I actually found and kept work. I learned how to cook and how to eat well for my mood management. I began considering a potential career in nursing that would focus on nutrition for mental health.
Now it’s circling around. I’m having a hard time letting go of the past. I finally learned how to forgive my mom and truly stop being angry with her, which is good. We’ve become friends. I’ve recognized that she only ever meant to help me and that she’s loved me deeply and has worked hard for me to get where I am at all. This woman used to fight with my high school nearly every day for each year I was there. Just so that I could graduate by the skin of my teeth. At that time, I could barely leave the house.
But I just can’t let go of the pain of being denied an identity. Not only by the imposition of labels before I had a chance to assert any kind of a personality, but also by bullies, who were constant throughout my entire schooling. I even had a few years of school where the ENTIRE CLASS ganged up on me and teachers did little to nothing. I learned very early on that authority is very often not on your side. It doesn’t care.
I don’t have health insurance or a car. I can barely keep up with my rent and bills. I have a feeling that something is wrong either with my sleep cycle or my thyroid but I don’t know how I can get it checked when I can’t save a dime and Medicaid denied me. I feel exceedingly anxious and hopeless as the days go on. Life should be good now. I have a wonderful boyfriend that I stomp on with my stupid spells of sadness. He should leave me, but he doesn’t, and I’m too scared of being alone to let him go. I feel so selfish, so desperate. He is always holding me, crying for me. Why I don’t know. I wish I had the heart to do what’s right.
I don’t want to die but there was a time when dying was all I desired. All I would think about. It has proven the hardest to curb that broken record thought cycle. It’s eating me up and I don’t know whyat to do. I cry at the drop of a hat. I feel so bad for my boyfriend. I keep trying to hang onto the little things, like my mom’s new kitten or my next cup of green tea as pointless as that sounds. Food feels more like a ball and chain each day though. At first it was miraculous that it could be so healing for me. Now it is frustrating that if I have the most minor of sugar crashes, my mind goes into a tailspin and there I am pacing and agitated and ready to break.